Friday, July 28, 2006

Head On

What the *%!#?! When I first saw this commercial, I thought that it has got to be the most irritating commercial I'd seen in a long time!

But you cannot deny that something short, repeated three times quickly, really sticks to your head! No pun intended! Haha. The commercial may be irritating but it sure is effective!

Below is a spoof on the commercial. What else can you apply directly to your forehead?

How about that head butting incident with Zidane during the recent World Cup? :-)

Head On plus Zidane!

Friday, July 21, 2006


This is a plug for my friend, Richard Carr, who created this innovative program, KeepAndShare.

KeepAndShare is the ideal way to create and share documents among friends and work colleagues.

KeepAndShare is so easy to use, you'll use it to:

* Organize documents, notes, photos, files and more
* Create photo blogs
* Share information and collaborate
* Keep all your to dos and calendar
* Keep in touch with others
* Organize any group
* Easily access your account from any internet PC
* Ensure your data is safe.
* Remember favorite web sites

I am a subcriber, and a believer in the usefulness of KeepAndShare. I use it mainly for posting large photos for my family members to view. Most of the stuff which I want only a limited number of people to see is placed in my KeepAndShare account.

That is one aspect of KeepAndShare that I really appreciate. I can make anything I want on my account as public or as private as I want.

Every KeepAndShare page is private and password protected by default - only you can see them. However, you can share each page and folder with specific people (these shared pages are still password protected and only visible to the exact people you specify), or you can share pages publicly with the entire world.
I have a list of bookmarks, and when I travel overseas (without my laptop) and want access to my bookmarks on a friend's/relative's computer, it is right there available for me to use.

KeepAndShare has a lot more useful purposes than I am using it for right now. The sharing of documents and the ability of the people in your group to edit it is something I find very attractive.

Please check out KeepAndShare, and open an account while you are at it! :-)

The Malaysian not there yet

I don't think there are very many, if any, Malaysians who actually believe that there is true racial integration in the country.

The survey mentioned in the following article confirms what most Malaysians know for a fact - there is no such thing as The Malaysian.

I am surprised, though, of all the ethnic groups surveyed, the Indians came out the most integrated. 75% saw themselves as Malaysians first and only 22% of them think that they should help their own race first before others. I am very impressed by this finding of the Indian community considering the fact that the vast majority of the Indian population in Malaysia has such a small share of the economic pie.

I am sure many of us have our theories/reasons as to why Malaysians, in general, cannot identify themselves as Malaysians first before their religion or race.

The main reason that comes to mind is the race preferential policies (or put negatively, government endorsed racial discriminatory policies) of the government. It cannot be denied that there are quotas given, or lack thereof, to each ethnic group when it comes to government jobs, scholarships, government contracts, low cost housing, university admisssions and the list goes on. You and I know who the full beneficiaries are.

It is virtually impossible to remove race preferential policies once they are in place. You would think that in a country like America, such a policy would not exist but you would be so wrong! Affirmative action, put in place to help the minority groups in America, has become a political football. The term "minority" is misleading in the context of affirmative action in America. Asians, eventhough a minority group, does not get to enjoy the benefits of affirmative action. Anyway, long story for another time.

Just how does a government detemine when the playing field is level? The NEP's objective was to have at least 30% bumiputra participation in the economy, and 35 years on, just how much has been achieved? At this rate the NEP, by whatever name, will never become obsolete. The government can remove whatever hurdle to help a particular race achieve economic success, but government intervention can backfire leading to economic inefficiencies, increase in national debt, increase in poverty levels of other racial groups etc.

What is the point of this whole diatribe, one might ask? That as long as there is inequality between the races, inequality that is endorsed and advanced by the government, a true Malaysian identity is not going to happen anytime soon.



Friday July 21, 2006

PETALING JAYA: A national survey has found that racial integration is still not yet a reality.

The survey, conducted by the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research, found that the majority of respondents still identified themselves according to their race and religion.

When asked what they considered themselves to be first, 61% of the Malays surveyed gave their religion as the answer, while 28% said Malaysian. Interestingly, only 5% gave ethnicity as the answer.

As for the Chinese, 47% gave their ethnicity as the answer while 44% answered Malaysian. Only 5% gave their religion as the answer.

Of the Indians surveyed, 75% saw themselves as Malaysians, 14% by their ethnicity and 5% by their religion.

The survey, entitled National Youth Opinion Poll on Civic Engagement, involved 1,505 Malaysians aged between 18 and 32.

Of those surveyed, 52% were Malays, 20% Chinese, 8% Indians, 8% natives of Sabah and Sarawak and 2% others. There were 748 male and 757 female respondents.

The answers were obtained via telephone interviews over a one-month period.

When presented the statement "One's responsibility should first begin by helping members of one's ethnic group before helping others in society", 63% of the Malay respondents agreed, as did 44% of the Chinese and 22% of the Indian respondents.

However, on questions related to the future of Malaysian society, the survey found that the majority felt that Malaysians of various ethnic backgrounds were "coming closer together" rather than moving apart.

When asked specifically what their expectations of Malaysian society were, 43% said they desired a society where the various races and cultures were treated equally, 27% wanted a more democratic society, 18% wanted a society where Islam played a bigger role and 6% said they wanted a Malay-dominant society.

On the issue of morality, 62% said they wanted the Government to regulate it.

In terms of ethnic breakdown, 73% of Malays and 67% of Indians wanted morality. As for the Chinese, the majority surveyed favoured morality being self-regulated or by the family.

The survey also found that Malaysian youth were also not as uncaring as assumed to be.

When asked whether they were concerned about the problems in their immediate community, 71% said they were.

This, however, did not necessarily translate to action because 59% of the respondents had never taken part in any community service or any volunteer activity.

Announcing the results of the survey yesterday, Merdeka Centre programmes director Ibrahim Suffian said the organisation conducted the survey to understand the perception of young Malaysians of society and how they related to issues and concerns affecting the country.

P.S. Malaysian newspapers do not make their articles available online after a number of days, therefore I have chosen to quote whole cloth articles I use in my entries.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Third World Impression

I found this picture on The Star's Citizen's Blog posted by a blogger called aleslpy. He thinks that the motorcyclist is being irresponsible. That may be so, but the thing that comes to my mind is that this picture is a reminder that Malaysia is a third world country, despite the claim to being a developing country.

I lived in Vietnam for 2 years in the mid 90s, and several people on a motorcyle was a common sight. In fact, it was one of the more amusing sights when I first arrived in the country. The motorcycle is used to transport all kinds of things, and the Vietnamese are ingenious enough to rig their motorcycles in such a way that they can be used to transport the most unlikely things .. a slaughtered pig, stacks of baskets, a refrigerator etc.

In the last several years the sight of more than 2 persons on a motorcycle is becoming common in Malaysia. My conclusion is that either more people can afford motorcycles and therefore choose to take their family on the motorcycle rather than take the bus, or there are more poor people living in the major towns who can only afford to own a motorcycle.

It bothers me a lot when I see young children riding pillon on motorcycles, and especially the sight of a mother with a baby riding pillon. I know to them the motorcycle is most convenient but it is not necessarily the safest mode of transportation especially on busy roads.

In America, motorcycles with small engines are not even allowed on the highways. As it is, there is an increase in road fatalities involving motorcycles. Riding big bikes is getting to be a popular sport among people, both young and old.

I think Malaysia needs to do more to improve public transportation so that people do not need to resort to transporting their whole family on a motorcycle. And also, the prices of cars need to be lowered a lot more from their present inflated prices so that more people can afford cars. Cars are no longer a luxury, they are a necessity. The prices of used cars in Malaysia are simply ridiculous! The prices should at least be within reach of the lower income group, and I am not even talking about junky cars.

In the World But Not of the World

A few weeks ago, I received a letter of solicitation from People for the American Way (PFAW), a liberal interest group. If you visit their website, they proclaim loudly that they are for defending democracy.

What they actually are, is clear to me. They are anti-Christian, especially what they call the Religious Right. They say they are for "respect for individual liberty, celebration of diversity, religious freedom, love of country and reverence for the democratic institutions" but their actions belie their words. What they are for, one might find in a socialist party manifesto.

Christian personalities like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are considered intolerant and religious extremists. People for the American Way feel threatened by the Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family, Traditional Values Coalition, and the American Center for Law and Justice.

Why do PFAW feel threatened by such groups? Because they know that the majority of the population believe in the values espoused by such groups, and as such PFAW can only demonize those groups in order to advance their liberal beliefs and values. PFAW decry intolerance and bigotry, yet by their very actions against people of faith and people who hold traditional moral values, they are the very thing they charged others with.

As a Christian I am not at all surprised that groups like PFAW hate what Christians stand for. The words of John 15 have never been so true.

John 15:18-19 "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you."

What the world holds dear are opposite to what the Christian is focused on. The Christian has an eternal perspective, and looks beyond what the trends are in the world today. Christians are called to be "in the world but not of the world" .

And as such, should Christians be exempted from participating in public discourse especially about the direction the nation is heading? I think not. Christians are to be the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13) and we can only do that if we influence society and not the other way round. We can do that by standing up to Biblical truths, and emphasizing Christian morality. If we fail to do this then we are as good as surrendering ourselves to the church of secular humanism which is prevalent in our society today.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Another Talent Show

After American Idol ended, there was nothing left worth watching on TV, that is, not until America's Got Talent! This is one strange show, and just how do you choose between the different talents with kids, adults and animals competing together!? Comedy acts, acrobatics, dancing, singing, magic show etc?!

But I did find two young people very impressive. The talented 11-year-old Bianca Ryan with her powerful voice, and the younger of the Miller Brothers and his harmonica.

Also, the Quick Change Artists were fantastic. I wonder what else they can do to top that!

Watch these videos and judge for yourself!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Liberal Christianity

The following article reminds me why I do not go to an Episcopalian (Anglican) church here in the US. I was raised Anglican but the majority of the Anglican churches in the US are practising liberal theology.

I live in an area that is under the see of the Diocese of Sacramento, and this diocese is well known for its liberal and pro-gay agenda .. a no no for me.

I am, however, heartened to hear that the more bible-based Anglican churches in the US, like the one in Plano, Texas are thriving and growing in membership.

Christians are called to be in the world but not of the world. A church that does not adhere to biblical orthordoxy, and can't even acknowledge the Trinity or the Divinity of Jesus Chrisit is no church at all.

From the Los Angeles Times
Liberal Christianity is paying for its sins

Out-of-the-mainstream beliefs about gay marriage and supposedly sexist doctrines are gutting old-line faiths.

By Charlotte Allen
CHARLOTTE ALLEN is Catholicism editor for Beliefnet and the author of "The Human Christ: The Search for the Historical Jesus."

July 9, 2006

The accelerating fragmentation of the strife-torn Episcopal Church USA, in which several parishes and even a few dioceses are opting out of the church, isn't simply about gay bishops, the blessing of same-sex unions or the election of a woman as presiding bishop. It also is about the meltdown of liberal Christianity.

Embraced by the leadership of all the mainline Protestant denominations, as well as large segments of American Catholicism, liberal Christianity has been hailed by its boosters for 40 years as the future of the Christian church.

Instead, as all but a few die-hards now admit, all the mainline churches and movements within churches that have blurred doctrine and softened moral precepts are demographically declining and, in the case of the Episcopal Church, disintegrating.

It is not entirely coincidental that at about the same time that Episcopalians, at their general convention in Columbus, Ohio, were thumbing their noses at a directive from the worldwide Anglican Communion that they "repent" of confirming the openly gay Bishop V. Gene Robinson of New Hampshire three years ago, the Presbyterian Church USA, at its general assembly in Birmingham, Ala., was turning itself into the laughingstock of the blogosphere by tacitly approving alternative designations for the supposedly sexist Christian Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Among the suggested names were "Mother, Child and Womb" and "Rock, Redeemer and Friend." Moved by the spirit of the Presbyterian revisionists, Beliefnet blogger Rod Dreher held a "Name That Trinity" contest. Entries included "Rock, Scissors and Paper" and "Larry, Curly and Moe."

Following the Episcopalian lead, the Presbyterians also voted to give local congregations the freedom to ordain openly cohabiting gay and lesbian ministers and endorsed the legalization of medical marijuana. (The latter may be a good idea, but it is hard to see how it falls under the theological purview of a Christian denomination.)

The Presbyterian Church USA is famous for its 1993 conference, cosponsored with the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and other mainline churches, in which participants "reimagined" God as "Our Maker Sophia" and held a feminist-inspired "milk and honey" ritual designed to replace traditional bread-and-wine Communion.

As if to one-up the Presbyterians in jettisoning age-old elements of Christian belief, the Episcopalians at Columbus overwhelmingly refused even to consider a resolution affirming that Jesus Christ is Lord. When a Christian church cannot bring itself to endorse a bedrock Christian theological statement repeatedly found in the New Testament, it is not a serious Christian church. It's a Church of What's Happening Now, conferring a feel-good imprimatur on whatever the liberal elements of secular society deem permissible or politically correct.

You want to have gay sex? Be a female bishop? Change God's name to Sophia? Go ahead. The just-elected Episcopal presiding bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, is a one-woman combination of all these things, having voted for Robinson, blessed same-sex couples in her Nevada diocese, prayed to a female Jesus at the Columbus convention and invited former Newark, N.J., bishop John Shelby Spong, famous for denying Christ's divinity, to address her priests.

When a church doesn't take itself seriously, neither do its members. It is hard to believe that as recently as 1960, members of mainline churches — Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans and the like — accounted for 40% of all American Protestants. Today, it's more like 12% (17 million out of 135 million). Some of the precipitous decline is due to lower birthrates among the generally blue-state mainliners, but it also is clear that millions of mainline adherents (and especially their children) have simply walked out of the pews never to return. According to the Hartford Institute for Religious Research, in 1965, there were 3.4 million Episcopalians; now, there are 2.3 million. The number of Presbyterians fell from 4.3 million in 1965 to 2.5 million today. Compare that with 16 million members reported by the Southern Baptists.

When your religion says "whatever" on doctrinal matters, regards Jesus as just another wise teacher, refuses on principle to evangelize and lets you do pretty much what you want, it's a short step to deciding that one of the things you don't want to do is get up on Sunday morning and go to church.

It doesn't help matters that the mainline churches were pioneers in ordaining women to the clergy, to the point that 25% of all Episcopal priests these days are female, as are 29% of all Presbyterian pastors, according to the two churches. A causal connection between a critical mass of female clergy and a mass exodus from the churches, especially among men, would be difficult to establish, but is it entirely a coincidence? Sociologist Rodney Stark ("The Rise of Christianity") and historian Philip Jenkins ("The Next Christendom") contend that the more demands, ethical and doctrinal, that a faith places upon its adherents, the deeper the adherents' commitment to that faith. Evangelical and Pentecostal churches, which preach biblical morality, have no trouble saying that Jesus is Lord, and they generally eschew women's ordination. The churches are growing robustly, both in the United States and around the world.

Despite the fact that median Sunday attendance at Episcopal churches is 80 worshipers, the Episcopal Church, as a whole, is financially equipped to carry on for some time, thanks to its inventory of vintage real estate and huge endowments left over from the days (no more!) when it was the Republican Party at prayer. Furthermore, it has offset some of its demographic losses by attracting disaffected liberal Catholics and gays and lesbians. The less endowed Presbyterian Church USA is in deeper trouble. Just before its general assembly in Birmingham, it announced that it would eliminate 75 jobs to meet a $9.15-million budget cut at its headquarters, the third such round of job cuts in four years.

The Episcopalians have smells, bells, needlework cushions and colorfully garbed, Catholic-looking bishops as draws, but who, under the present circumstances, wants to become a Presbyterian?

Still, it must be galling to Episcopal liberals that many of the parishes and dioceses (including that of San Joaquin, Calif.) that want to pull out of the Episcopal Church USA are growing instead of shrinking, have live people in the pews who pay for the upkeep of their churches and don't have to rely on dead rich people. The 21-year-old Christ Church Episcopal in Plano, Texas, for example, is one of the largest Episcopal churches in the country. Its 2,200 worshipers on any given Sunday are about equal to the number of active Episcopalians in Jefferts Schori's entire Nevada diocese.

It's no surprise that Christ Church, like the other dissident parishes, preaches a very conservative theology. Its break from the national church came after Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury and head of the Anglican Communion, proposed a two-tier membership in which the Episcopal Church USA and other churches that decline to adhere to traditional biblical standards would have "associate" status in the communion. The dissidents hope to retain full communication with Canterbury by establishing oversight by non-U.S. Anglican bishops.

As for the rest of the Episcopalians, the phrase "deck chairs on the Titanic" comes to mind. A number of liberal Episcopal websites are devoted these days to dissing Peter Akinola, outspoken primate of the Anglican diocese of Nigeria, who, like the vast majority of the world's 77 million Anglicans reported by the Anglican Communion, believes that "homosexual practice" is "incompatible with Scripture" (those words are from the communion's 1998 resolution at the Lambeth conference of bishops). Akinola might have the numbers on his side, but he is now the Voldemort — no, make that the Karl Rove — of the U.S. Episcopal world. Other liberals fume over a feeble last-minute resolution in Columbus calling for "restraint" in consecrating bishops whose lifestyle might offend "the wider church" — a resolution immediately ignored when a second openly cohabitating gay man was nominated for bishop of Newark.

So this is the liberal Christianity that was supposed to be the Christianity of the future: disarray, schism, rapidly falling numbers of adherents, a collapse of Christology and national meetings that rival those of the Modern Language Assn. for their potential for cheap laughs. And they keep telling the Catholic Church that it had better get with the liberal program — ordain women, bless gay unions and so forth — or die. Sure.

Copyright 2006 Los Angeles Times |

Saturday, July 15, 2006

9/11 Conspiracies

In the US we call those folks who believe in all kinds of conspiracies especially those about the government as the "black helicopter crowd".

I am sure most of you have heard of theories with regards to the events of 9/11 ... the Jews were behind the plane crashes on the twin towers, the Bush administration blew up the Pentagon themselves, CNN did not report the whole truth about the 9/11 events etc etc. :-)

There are many sites on the internet with their theories about what "really" happened on 9/11 and there are also sites that debunk the theories. Here's one site that has the most loony theories put together on one page. :-)

The most controversial of the events of 9/11 is on what actually happened to the Pentagon. I found the following video clip via Little Green Footballs. Anyone with some shred of common sense can readily see for himself/herself that the computer simulation presents the most likely sequence of events that happened at the Pentagon that day.

But then again not everyone is going to readily believe this video clip as attested by the comments found on You Tube where the video is posted. There are believers of these conspiracies in places as far flung as Malaysia. So what else is new, eh?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Talk Radio

I have mentioned it several times on my blog that I enjoy listening to conservative talk radio. I had to listen to less of talk radio for a while because I was under some kind of stress and listening to talk radio did not help my stress level at all! :-)

Anyway, I am back to listening to talk radio full time and one of my favorite talk show hosts, is Mark Levin.

When I first heard Mark Levin on Sean Hannity's show, I thought he was an elderly man. He has the kind of voice that elderly people have, and he is only 48 years old!

I enjoy listening to Mark Levin because he is a very smart guy and very, very sharp. His irreverence is also one of the things that I find very attractive. He calls Hillary Clinton "Her Thighness", the New Times, "New York Slime" and other politicians all kinds of names.

I don't see Malaysia having this kind of talk shows, which is a pity. I am sure there are Malaysians who will say that this kind of talk radio is not good for a multi-racial, multi-religious country, but hey, that is what free speech is all about. Especially the freedom to speak about our government, good or bad.

Here's a sample of the first segment of today's second hour of the Mark Levin show.

The Mark Levin Show - Mark Levin

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy July 4th

Here's a video clip accompanied by Ray Charles' rendition of America the Beautiful to help celebrate today, America's Independence Day.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

Lyrics by Kathy Lee Bates
Music: Originally sung to 'Auld Lang Syne, & any other popular or folk tune that fit the lyrics. Commonly song now with music "Materna," composed by Samuel A. Ward in 1882, 10 years before lyrics/poem were written.